Thanks to client/friend Tom Wester, I found a perfect replacement for the Olympus 40-150mm lens hood. The lens hood that comes with the lens is not great to say the least, it often breaks and is pulled out too far creating an issue. I think that the Sensei collapsible rubber hood is the answer. The company makes these with a screw-in design that fits like a glove on the filter end. They can also be adjusted to three different sizes of shading. These lens hoods would also make a great replacement for the original 100-400mm Canon lens. Just make sure you get the correct filter size. Plus they are very inexpensive–under $10.00, sold at B&H.
DEATH VALLEY SO FAR…
I arrived in Death Valley on the 20th of January. My flight out of Newark was uneventful and the 5 hours seemed to fly by. I was slightly concerned that the National Park that I would be conducting my workshop at would be closing due to the government shutdown. I heard the day before we left that the National Parks would be open– with only limited issues which included bathroom cleaning and trash removal. Our hotel is located in the park and is run by a private group so I was never worried about it being closed; I was worried about getting into the park to access the hotel but that is not an issue.
This workshop took a lot of preparation including me going for CPR, AED and Basic First Aid training in order to obtain my needed permit for the park. Usually at the National Parks, a permit is required to conduct a workshop for a group. At Death Valley they limit the size of the group to 10 and the additional training is needed in case of an emergency since we will be in a remote, desert area. The AED training was lumped into the course and I am sure that it was not needed as the chance of seeing one of those machines in the field is slim :).
I have planned a tentative schedule for the group but with any of my workshops the itinerary needs to be very flexible to accommodate local conditions, weather, etc… I have already received notice that Dante’s View will be closed until April starting on January 23rd, so I moved our shooting schedule around so that we would not miss out. Dante’s View offers a unique view of the park from a high vantage point. In addition to a wide angle lens, I like using a medium telephoto lens just as I do at Steptoe Butte in the Palouse. With a longer focal length I am able to extract mini scenes from the larger vista.
Another one of my favorite shooting locations inside the park is Zabriskie Point. I like it for both sunrise and sunset. However at sunrise the light changes as the sun peeks over the mountains. That is when the magic happens; when the rocks are hit by the sun they are transformed from a cool blue tone to a golden amber glow. Add in soft pink and orange hues from the sky and you have a symphony of color. I’ll be sharing some images soon!